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Archive for the 'television' Category

24 August

Who Do You Think You Are? New Network


whodoyouthinkyouareI posted about the television program Who Do You Think You are a while ago, but now the show is on another network and some of you may be looking for it.  I was happy to find it again.  The show is now on TLC which unfortunately means we have to watch commercials of Honey Bobo during the program.  But maybe you are one of the lucky ones watching online.  You can find it on TLC and Amazon.  It is the same great show that it was before, and if you are into genealogy I highly recommend the program.  Its one of the last things on television worth watching.

01 May

Osama Bin Laden is Dead


Tonight the President announced that Osama Bin Laden is dead.  This is just a quick post to thank and congratulate the men and women of our armed forces and intelligence community for their exceptional work!

28 February

Who Do You Think You Are?


Who Do You Think You Are is a television program that was originally in the UK starting in 2004.  Last year they brought the program to the states.  I first heard about it when listening to BBC History Magazine Podcast where they mentioned the UK program.  Then later when listening to another podcast, History According to Bob, I heard that the show was in the US and had some good programming according to Bob.  I trust Bob, so I looked for it on Hulu and found it.  The first season is now only available to Hulu Plus subscribers (a fee service), but the new ones are available to watch for free, for a limited time.  Here is a link to the Hulu page for Who Do You Think You Are, where the go over Vanessa William’s family history.  It is very interesting.  If you really like and and want more, the first season is available at Amazon where you can Pre-Order for March 15 or watch instantly via Amazon Instant video.

25 February

The Very First Academy Awards Ceremony 1929


Every year we gather around our television sets to watch Academy Awards (this year Sunday, Feb 27 8PM EST, 5PM EST on ABC), also called the Oscars. This awards ceremony was developed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to recognize those working in the film industry who have performed their job excellently. The formal ceremony is televised to over 200 countries and is the oldest award ceremony in media.

The Academy itself is composed of roughly 6,000 film industry professionals from around the world; however the majority are based in the United States. The idea of the AMPAS began with the then head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Louis B. Mayer. The original goal of the organization was to mediate labor disputes and improve the industry’s image.

Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. was elected as the first president of the Academy. One of his first jobs was to bestow awards of merit for distinct achievement. Mayer asked MGM art director, Cedric Gibbons to design the now famous Oscar trophy. Sculptor George Stanley was paid $500 to execute the original statue from Gibbons’ design. Trivia tidbit: Because of a metal shortage during World War II, Oscar statuettes were made of painted plaster. The very first ever Academy Awards nominees were notified via telegram in February 1928. The awards would be for films made in 1927 and 1928.

The Ceremony was held on May 16, 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California. 207 people showed up. They paid $5 a ticket. It was not broadcast on radio or television; however, fans of the celebrities did show up to watch them step out of their luxury vehicles. Douglas Fairbanks, the president of the Academy, made the official award presentations. Twelve awards were presented at the dinner and 20 additional certificates of honorable mention were given to runners-up in each awards category.

And the winners were…

Best Picture – Wings

Unique and Artistic Production – Sunrise – A Song of Two Humans

Best Director, Comedy Picture – Lewis Milestone for Two Arabian Knights

Best Director, Dramatic Picture – Frank Borzage for 7th Heaven

Best Actor in a Leading Role – Emil Jannings for The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh

Best Actress in a Leading Role – Janet Gaynor for 7th Heaven, Street Angel and Sunrise – A Song of Two Humans

Best Writing, Original Story – Ben Hecht for Underworld

Best Writing, Adapted Story – Benjamin Glazer for 7th Heaven

Best Cinematography – Charles Rosher and Karl Struss for Sunrise – A Song of Two Humans

Best Art Direction – William Cameron Menzies for The Dove and Tempest

Best Engineering Effects – Roy Pomeroy for Wings

Best Writing, Title Writing – Joseph Farnham (no specific film)

Honorary Awards

Charles Chaplin “For versatility and genius in acting, writing, directing and producing The Circus “.

Warner Brothers Production “For producing The Jazz Singer, the pioneer outstanding talking picture, which has revolutionized the industry”


19 October

Review/Giveaway: America: The Story of Us


I was lucky enough to have a copy of this very cool Blu-ray set sent to me recently.  Total disclosure is that they sent me two copies.  One to review and one to giveaway to some lucky history podcast listener.  Since there have been very few episodes lately, I thought it would be a nice way to say thank you to the listeners that are still visiting this website.  The podcast has not been abandoned.  I’m just having trouble finding the time to put anything together.  Anyone with a two year old will understand.  I write this post in my living room/Samantha’s fort.

Back to the review.  This Blu-ray copy of America: The Story of Us is sold for $50 on the history channel website.  And I think it is worth it.  It’s not just a single disc.  It is three disc, twelve part series.  It has various celebrities sharing their thoughts about the different times in America’s history throughout the entire series.  These celebrities include: Tom Brokaw, Buzz Aldrin, Colin Powell and more.  The introduction to the series is by President Barack Obama.

The story starts with the first ship loads of “rebels” from Europe landing in the new land.  The Jamestown settlement is covered well in the first disc.  Then they move on to the revolution, west-ward expansion and slavery.  Disc two continues the story with the Civil War through the boom.  Disc three warps up with Word War II and the millennium.  Disc one and two have bonus features as well.

I enjoyed the entertaining way that the history of America is presented.  I thought the computer graphics they used throughout really helped demonstrate various points.  Although, I was a bit let down at how frequently some footage was reused throughout the series.  Maybe that is because I watched all of the episodes in a short time, one right after the other.  My favorite part of the series was the last two discs.  I’ve read a lot about the revolution and didn’t really get much more out of the first disc, but the last two were very interesting.  Even though, I didn’t really learn anything new from the first disc, I did find it entertaining.  I’m including a short portion of the Jamestown portion in this post below.  There are more videos on History Channel’s YouTube channel.

Even if you don’t win a copy of this series I would recommend purchasing it.  If you do please buy via this link to Amazon.  It doesn’t cost you anything more and a portion of the purchase price will go to supporting history podcast.

To enter the giveaway just leave a comment on this post.  Be sure to include your email address.  Also, just a reminder this is a Blu-Ray copy and will not play on a standard DVD player.  It has to be a blu-ray compatible player for it to work.  Your comment may not appear immediately, don’t worry though I got it.  I just have to approve it.  I will accept entries from the moment this post is published until Wednesday (10/20/2010) night 11:59:59pm pacific time.  Good luck.

11 July

Jon-Erik Hexum


How very sad!  I didn’t know about Jon-Erik Hexum’s terrible death, that S posted in the comments.  For those who also don’t know here is the exerpt from Wikipedia:

On October 12, 1984, between filming scenes on the set of Cover Up, Hexum was critically wounded after he placed a .44 Magnum prop gun loaded with blanks to his temple and pulled the trigger. The accident happened during the filming of a scene where Hexum’s character (Mac Harper) was supposed to unload a handgun and replace the bullets with blanks—as the script required. The shooting was, however, delayed due to a technical difficulty and Hexum fell asleep on the set. Hexum awoke approximately fifteen minutes later and, realizing the scene was still not ready to be shot, began playing with the gun. Police later reported that Hexum had been playing Russian roulette, having loaded three empty cartridges and two blanks into the cylinder. He eventually placed the gun to his head and, after saying, “Let’s see if I’ve got one for me!” pulled the trigger.

30 May

Anyone Remember Voyagers?


Anyone else remember this 1980’s television show? I rented the series on netflix. Makes me wish they had something like this on tv now.

28 April

America: The History of Us


This past Sunday (4/25) AMERICA THE STORY OF US premiered on History at 9/8c.  This epic 12-part series is a grand cinematic vision of how this country was built.  AMERICA THE STORY OF US focuses on the people, ideas and events that built American nation, covering 400 years of American history. New episodes will air every Sunday through Memorial Day. Buy on iTunes.

08 December

This Week on Television


All Times Pacific


8PM – Bullets Over Boston: The Irish Mob on National Geographic Channel
The investigation of south Boston crime boss James Whitey Bulger, who s been on the run since 1995, is chronicled. 

10PM – Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire on History Channel International
A history of the Roman Empire.


8PM – FDR: A Presidency Revealed on The History Channel
The conclusion of a two-part retrospective of Franklin Delano Roosevelt s presidency begins with the U.S. entering World War II and concludes with FDR…